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Queenstown Lakes Property Booming

By Nina Jensen
Queenstown Lakes has stacked more than $15 billion on to its value since the start of the new millennium in an unprecedented property gold rush.

It means the area is on its way to becoming the richest chunk of South Island real estate south of Christchurch – valued at present just $800 million shy of Dunedin.

Latest figures on the overall capital value of rateable land and buildings for Queenstown Lakes show they are worth $18,759,741,000 as of last month.

That does not include the ballooning market values this year, or the commercial projects about to come to fruition, such as Frankton Flats.

That is up from just under $3.6billion in July 2001, an increase of more than 420%.

Dunedin, by contrast, practically flatlined from 2008 to 2013, with a total value of around $18.8billion, before putting on $2billion to its current value of $19.6 billion.

It was worth $7.3 billion in 2002. Figures for 2001 were unavailable.

The city’s commercial property market is still in the recovery phase post global financial crisis.

Invercargill has an overall capital value of just $6.8 billion at 2015.

Colliers International’s Queenstown property expert and valuer John Scobie said the rise of subdivisions, such as Jacks Point, Lake Hayes Estate and Peninsula Bay in Wanaka, was a major factor in the boom.

New commercial buildings in downtown Queenstown, buy-to-let apartments and growth at Remarkables Park in Frankton had also contributed.

The latest QV figure for the district was set in July 2014, but Mr Scobie said it was only a reflection of market value ”at the time it’s struck”.

”It only lasts for a number of months because the market changes so rapidly.”

There were two main reasons for the billion-a-year increase – quantity and value increases.

”Between 2001 and 2015 you’ve had a huge growth in the number of properties.

”Shotover Country, for example, would have been rated as farmland, a much lower value. But now there’s about 400 individual sections.

”The second part is value level increases. Back in 2003, sections were selling out at Lake Hayes Estate for around $70,000 to $90,000 level.

”Just over two years later, it was $200,000, so a massive gain.”

Value increased again once properties were built.

The resort was ”very healthy” and the only concern was making sure there was infrastructure to support it.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden said while rapidly rising values were not necessarily a problem, they could have a negative effect on the community, particularly in terms of housing affordability – not just for buyers, but also renters.

It was inevitable the community would have to ”accept some compromise” in freeing up land for more affordable housing.

”[Increased value] is a great thing, but we just have to watch out that we don’t cut out a whole part of our community because that will make us poorer, actually,” Ms van Uden said.

The average day population in 2015 is 30,700 residents and 17,100 visitors, but the peak day population is 96,500.

By 2025, that is forecast to grow to an average of 57,000 and peak of 115,500.

Source: Mountain Scene
August 2015
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